Friday, June 29, 2012

The Afterlife

Maverick posts about The Afterlife.  Giles Fraser used to go on in this vein, saying how the perfect life would become boring after a long while.  All pleasure is cloying*, eventually we will long for the 'true death' of total annihilation, assuming true annihilation is logically possible. 

I disagree. Giles would always use golf as an example. Of course, how could even a week of golf not induce disgust and nausea.  But I could easily endure an infinity of the life that I find good.  Namely, rising at an early hour with the chirping of the birds, in the crisp purity of the morning.  A fine breakfast served by pleasant staff - strong coffee and orange juice.  Repair to a table in the verandah of a magnificient house fronting onto a lake filled with all kinds of wildlife (not of the dangerous kind).  Four of five hours of concentrated philosophical and logical speculation, enough to fill a chapter or two of an infinitely long work. 

A walk in the afternoon to admire the beauties of nature, then return to the verandah to enjoy the finest single malt (or two) while watching the sunset over the lake. An evening with wife and friends, and a fine cigar (there are no carcinogens in heaven).  Repeat endlessly, with infinite variations on that theme.  This is of course a form of the 'spiritual materialism' that the Maverick (and Giles) abhor in their different ways, but I don't altogether see the problem with it.

*producing distaste or disgust after too much of something originally pleasant

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6 Comments:

Blogger David Brightly said...

And maybe for bedtime reading each night a chapter of Julian Barnes's A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters.

6:38 pm  
Blogger AC said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:29 pm  
Blogger AC said...

Ed, as wonderful as all these things seem, they are wonderful in large part *because* life is short with no guarantees. If it were the case that you could not die, that you were without want for eternity, what could possibly by precious? What could possibly be desirable?

7:32 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>Ed, as wonderful as all these things seem, they are wonderful in large part *because* life is short with no guarantees. If it were the case that you could not die, that you were without want for eternity, what could possibly by precious? What could possibly be desirable?

Note I am not postulating that there is nothing left to be desired. 'Another day exactly like this' might be one such desire.

10:19 am  
Blogger Hal said...

That doesn't seem, to me, to address the issue at all. Unless, by another day *exactly* like this, you mean *exactly*, as in, you *genuinely* relive the day, not as a re-experience but as a *first*.

12:02 am  
Blogger AC said...

If by, "Another day exactly like this" you mean exactly, as in, experience it without having experienced it before, then eternity is just a day long.

If you mean, "I'll have another one", that could get old.

2:40 am  

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